New Halo: Reach maps released this week
Mon, 14 Mar 2011 2:49p.m.
This week, the battle for humanity's survival gets a new look.
Halo: Reach, one of the most critically-acclaimed video games of 2010, is expanding with three new downloadable maps available via Xbox Live.
"The big ticket item is DLC - downloadable content," said Frank O'Connor, creative director of 343 Industries.
"They want new spaces to play in, they want new experiences, they want new environments to explore."
The maps cost players 800 Microsoft Points and are called Condemned, Highlands and Unearthed.
Condemned takes place aboard Orbital Station Gamma, a massive space station high in orbit above the planet Reach. Prior to the Covenant's overwhelming invasion, Orbital Station Gamma provided long range communications for UNSC fleets and a vital lifeline between Reach and Earth. During the Battle of Reach, the station suffered terrible punishment at the hands of the Covenant but a few fortified sections remain intact, fully pressurized, and ready for combat. Condemned supports 6 - 12 players in a variety of action-packed game types, including Team Slayer, Team Objective and Free for All.
Highlands takes place on the top-secret Military Wilderness Training Preserve on Reach. The Preserve is a large, wooded area where Spartan super-soldiers trained long before the war with the Covenant began. During the Battle of Reach, the Preserve was the site of key battles between the alien invaders and a group of Spartans who used their familiarity with these UNSC training grounds to significant tactical advantage.but not everyone who enters these woods makes it out alive. Highlands expands the fight with massive-scale engagements for 8 - 16 players in Big Team Battle, Team Slayer and Team Objective.
Unearthed takes the battle for Reach to a large Titanium mine and refinery located in the Viery civilian sector of the planet. This particular mine was built to take advantage of the exposed titanium inside a massive meteor crater. The titanium produced here is used in much of the UNSC hardware, from the chassis of the Warthog to the meters-thick armor plating of capital ships like the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. While this facility was quickly abandoned when the Covenant arrived on Reach, it still has significant tactical (and economic) value and it won't be long before both humans and Covenant return to battle for control. Unearthed allows up to 4 players to launch a counterassault against the Covenant in Firefight and Firefight modes such as Generator Defense.
"The Halo multiplayer community requires constant attention," said O'Connor about why Microsoft is releasing the maps now.
"They require constant attention for matchmaking, in other words just making sure that the rules and the game balance are fine."
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